I had some leftover pumpkin puree, and was thinking of what would go well with it; so I decided to throw it together with some Nutella and make some sweet pumpkin bread. This is a real quick and easy recipe, and only take a few ingredients. Toss them together, and you have something you can eat with your morning coffee, or take to work with you and share with your coworkers. Enjoy this simple recipe!

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Cool Time: 1 hour

Makes 1 loaf


½ cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 can pumpkin puree, room temperature

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 capfuls of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Nutella, warmed


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter
  • In a large metal bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, and salt; set aside
  • Use a stand mixer to cream butter, vanilla, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes
  • Beat in eggs, one by one, and then add the pumpkin. Gradually add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until blended
  • Transfer ½ a cup of the batter into the prepared pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of Nutella over the batter. Repeat layers; swirl the Nutella into the batter with a knife
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely
  • Serve and enjoy!


As a chocolate fan, I adore brownies. There is no way you could not. They are full of chocolate flavor and can be made a variety of ways: chewy, gooey, melty, etc. For this recipe, I wanted to use one of my favorite fruit preserves, and a fruit that goes well with chocolate, cherries. I soaked the cherry preserves with rum so that the flavor gets intensified. The end result is a block of brownies, that are soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate flavor. They are quick and easy to make, and make a great treat or quick gift. Try yours today!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Cooling time: 45 min to 1 hour

Serves: 12 pieces


¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup quality 100% dark cocoa powder

4 oz of quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

5 tbsps of butter, melted

1 cup of sugar

3 large eggs

½ cup of cherry preserves

2 shots of spiced rum

¼ teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 capfuls of vanilla extract


  • First, combine the rum and the preserves and let them sit while you prepare the brownies. This will allow the cherries to absorb the rum. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9×9 pan, covering it with a piece of buttered, parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, sea salt, baking powder, and whisk together. Set aside
  • Melt the chocolate pieces either in the microwave or on the stovetop, being careful not to burn them
  • In a separate, large bowl, add the eggs, vanilla extract, melted chocolate, melted butter, pouring in about 2 tablespoons of the rum-jam liquid. Whisk together until it is combined
  • Slowly pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together until a chocolatey batter forms
  • Pour the batter into the pan. Top the batter with the cherries and any extra juices. You can use the back of a spoon or a knife to blend the jam with the batter
  • Place in the oven and bake until it has risen, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  • Remove from the pan and place in the wire rack to cool
  • Cut into 12 pieces
  • Serve and enjoy!


vegan brownies3

I love me a tasty, gooey, chocolate brownie, especially when washed down with a nice cold glass of milk. When I normally make brownies, I use flour, eggs, butter. However, for this version, I used neither. I made these as a gift for a vegan friend’s birthday and they came out better than I expected. They were so rich in flavor and so fluffy, you would not believe that it contained neither flour, nor egg, nor butter. Whether you are vegan or not, you have to try this recipe out. It will be your new favorite one. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 Minutes


3 ripe bananas

½ cup dark cocoa powder

½ cup of sugar

1 cup almond butter, can be coarse or smooth depending on preference, drained of oil

2 capfuls of vanilla extract

coconut oil for greasing pan


  • Line a 9×9 in. baking tray with parchment paper and rub with coconut oil to avoid the batter from sticking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas until they are smooth. Add the almond butter and mix until it is combined with the bananas. Sift in the dark chocolate, and add the sugar and the vanilla and keep mixing until a smooth batter forms. If you want to add anything extra such as nuts or chocolate chips, you can add them now and mix

vegan brownies7

  • Pour the batter into the pan and level it so it bakes evenly. Place in middle rack of the oven and bake until it is set, and the top has darkened, about 20-25 minutes
  • Let it cool completely before cutting and serving it
  • Enjoy!


A Bûche de Noël (yule log), is a traditional dessert eaten in Europe during the holiday season between Christmastime and New Years. It is a rolled up sponge cake stuffed with a cream filling and topped with a buttercream frosting. For my variation, I incorporated both mascarpone and cream cheeses in the filling and frosting for a creamier, smoother texture. This is a delectable dessert to serve company, during a holiday dinner, or even indulging alone by a warm fire. Try this recipe today!



Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Wait time: 1 hour and a half

Serves: 8-10


1 box of yellow cake mix

1 pinch of sea salt

4 eggs at room temperature, egg whites and yolks in separate bowls

2 cups of milk at room temperature

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 package mascarpone cheese at room temperature

1 package of cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

4 tablespoons of Nutella ™

Zest from one orange


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Butter a 10x15in baking pan and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper and put aside
  • Sift the cake mix into a bowl and mix in the salt
  • In the bowl with the egg yolks, add one teaspoon of the vanilla and beat the yolks. Add them to the cake mix and stir
  • Slowly add in the milk until a thick batter begins to form. You might not need to use the whole 2 cups, only enough to where the thick batter forms
  • In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. One big spoonful at a time, fold the egg whites into the batter and slowly incorporate. Do not overwork the batter
  • Pour the batter into the pan and gently spread it until it is even. If there are any peaks visible, smoothly pass over them without pressing down
  • Place in middle rack in oven and bake for at least 15 minutes or until the cake is set and bounces back when lightly pressed
  • Coat a clean towel with powdered sugar. Make sure the towel is larger than the cake. Invert the cake onto the towel and remove the parchment paper. Fold the edge of the towel onto the short edge of the cake and slowly and carefully roll the cake. Allow it to cool. While the cake cools, make the buttercream
  • In a stand mixer with paddle adjustment, add both cheeses and stir on high for 10 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of butter from the stick, the orange zest, and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla and whip on high until a smooth mixture forms. Remove half of the cream and place in a separate bowl. This will become the filling
  • In the leftover buttercream in the stand mixer, add the remaining stick of butter and the Nutella ™ and blend until smooth. This will become the frosting
  • Once the cake has cooled, carefully unroll it. Add the vanilla filling and spread it across the cake. Carefully roll the cake again.


  • Coat it evenly with the Nutella ™ frosting. Using a fork, draw lines across the cake to resemble bark. You may top with sprinkles, nuts, dried fruit, or just leave as is


  • Put in the fridge and allow to cool for at least an hour
  • Serve and enjoy!



s'mores pie

s'mores pie 3

s'mores pie. 4jpg

s'mores pie 2

One of my favorite activities in the summer months is making s’mores over a nice fire while relaxing with friends and telling stories.  Whether young or old, eating s’mores will always bring a smile to a person’s face. The crispy graham crackers, melty chocolate, and gooey marshmallows conduct a happy symphony in the mouth when bitten into. With this recipe, I embodied the happiness of s’mores making so it can be enjoyed even in the colder months. The chocolate filling has a mousse-like quality that is smooth and rich with chocolaty flavor, accompanied by a buttery, graham cracker crust and homemade marshmallow fluff. This will be you new favorite pie and go-to for any baking situation.

Serving size: 6 people

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Wait time: 1 hour


  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup nilla wafer crumbs
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 4 oz milk chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • Egg whites from 10 eggs at room temperature
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (8 oz) of butter


For the crust

  • In a small pot melt the butter. For added flavor, cook the butter longer on a medium-high heat until the color begins to deepen and brown, and the aroma becomes nuttier. This is brown butter
  • In a food processor bowl add the graham crackers and nilla wafers and pulse until they are finely grounded into a powder. Add the melted butter and pulse for 10 more seconds until incorporated and the mixture feels like wet sand. If it feels too dry, add a touch more butter and pulse; if it feels too wet and is too buttery, add a few more handfuls of ground/powdered graham crackers and nilla wafers and work with hands
  • Butter your pie or baking pan and transfer the crumb mixture. Using your hands, work the mixture from the center of the pan towards and up the sides, building a nice base and pie wall, pressing firmly. When the pie crust has been formed in the pan, chill it for at least half an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

For the chocolate filling

  • Add the chocolate chunks in a large bowl. You can use one type of chocolate more than the other based on personal preference
  • In a small saucepan, scald the one cup of heavy cream. Do not boil
  • Once scalded, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand for at least 2-3 minutes so the chocolate melts. Whisk the cream and chocolate until a smooth texture forms. Add more chocolate for a thicker mixture
  • In a bain marie, or a bowl over a pot of water if you don’t have one with the bowl not touching the water, add the two egg yolks and the half cup of sugar and cook over a medium heat, constantly whisking the yolks and sugar until the sugar has melted and the mixture fluffs and increases in volume
  • Add the egg yolk mixture in the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated and the mixture fluffs
  • Using a hand mixer, or just constantly whisking it with your hands for a few minutes, beat the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream until whipped cream begins to form. Add the whipped cream to the chocolate one spoonful at a time, folding the cream into the chocolate until incorporated each time it’s added. This will give the chocolate a mousse like quality and ensure that it does not harden when refrigerated.
  • Let the chocolate rest and place the pie crust in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown
  • When ready, remove the crust from the oven and let cool. While the crust is cooling, prep the marshmallow topping

For the Marshmallow Topping:

  • In a large saucepan, add the ¾ cup of sugar and the ¼ cup of water and dissolve the sugar over a medium high heat. Heat until the temperature on a candy thermometer reads between 240 and 260 degrees, low-ball to hard-ball stage
  • While the sugar is dissolving, add the egg whites and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat over a medium speed until it begins to fluff. Slowly pour the sugar down the side of the mixer, while the egg whites are beaten on a medium-high speed now, until glossy and doubled in size
  • Take a generous spoonful of the marshmallow topping and add it to the chocolate mixture folding it in until incorporated. This will give the chocolate filling a smoother texture

Setting up the pie

  • Pour the chocolate into the crust, evenly spreading it to the sides
  • Add the marshmallow topping on top of the chocolate and spread out covering the chocolate filling. Using a torch, or the broiler setting in the oven, toast the top of the marshmallow
  • To serve, heat a knife by running it under hot water and drying it. Cut through the pie slowly
  • Enjoy

Chocolate Mousse with Bourbon Cherry Compote

chocolate mousse 2

chocolate mousse

Chocolate Mousse is a delicacy that packs an immense amount of chocolate flavor in a texture that feels silky and airy to your taste buds. This is a dessert for the chocoholic in your life. One spoonful, and they will be licking the bowls clean. This mousse recipe includes a tasty, syrupy, bourbon cherry compote that combines well with the semi-sweetness of the chocolate to add some sugar and fruit flavor to the bitterness of the chocolate!

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Wait Time: 1.5 Hours

Makes 4 servings


6 oz. (1 cup) of semisweet chocolate

2 ½ cups heavy cream

4 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons Nutella or another hazelnut-chocolate spread

2 ½ cups dark cherries, pitted (can be fresh or frozen)

¼ cup bourbon

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon of orange zest


For the Bourbon Cherry Compote

  • In a medium sized saucepan, add the cherries, bourbon, ¼ cup of sugar, honey and zest
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over a medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved
  • Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquids reduce and the mixture begins to thicken
  • Shut the heat off and let the compote cool

For the Mousse

  • These next few steps will be simultaneous
  • To melt the chocolate, we are going to use a bain-marie. If you don’t have one, use a medium sized saucepan with about 2 inches of water and a bowl covering it but not touching the water
  • Add the chocolate and melt over a medium heat
  • While the chocolate is melting, prep the cream mixture
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks, gradually adding in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, with an electric mixer on high speed until it finely combines and the color becomes yellowish
  • In a separate saucepan, heat 1 cup of the heavy cream until hot. Once heated, gradually add half the cream into the egg mixture, stirring constantly, then transfer the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream, slowly stirring over a low heat. Do not let it boil
  • When the chocolate has mostly melted, add the Nutella, or hazelnut-chocolate mixture, into the melted chocolate and stir
  • Once the cream has begun to thicken and coat the back of a wooden spoon, slowly pour the melted chocolate into the cream mixture and stir until incorporated
  • Shut the heat off and let the mixture cool by covering it and placing it in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until cooled
  • While the chocolate is cooling, prep the whipped cream

For the Whipped Cream

  • Beat the remaining 1 ½ cups of heavy cream in a chilled bowl, or, in an electric stand mixer bowl, on high speed, gradually adding in the sugar
  • Beat until it stiffs and thickens into whipped cream
  • Once cooled, remove the chocolate mixture from the fridge
  • Add one big scoop of whipped cream into the mixture and fold until incorporated
  • Repeat last step until about a quarter cup of whipped cream is left which you will use for garnish on top of the mousse. Transfer the mousse into serving bowls
  • Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Cannoli Cups


For this year’s holiday party I wanted to make cannolis, but I wanted to do something different with them. I decided baking little cannoli cups dipped in chocolate and filled with a delicious, homemade ricotta-mascarpone filling. What makes these great, besides their versatility, is that they can be eaten in one big bite!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 12


For the Cups

4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

2 egg yolks

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

¼ cup of ouzo or Sambuca mixed with ½ cup of water

½ cup semisweet chocolate

¼ cup bittersweet chocolate

1 capfull of vanilla extract

Non-stick cooking spray

For the Filling

4 cups whole milk ricotta, drained

1 cup mascarpone cheese

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup semisweet mini chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees
  • In a large metal bowl, add the flour, sugar, and salt and mix
  • Add the butter and the egg yolks and stir them in with a fork
  • Stir in the alcohol mixture slowly one tablespoon at a time, with a fork until the dough starts clinging together. Form a ball with the dough and let it stand for 30 minutes covered by saran wrap
  • Cover a flat surface with flour and roll the dough paper thin
  • Using a biscuit cutter, cut the shells out of the dough. Discard any leftover dough
  • Coat a muffin tray with the cooking spray. Add the cannoli shell dough
  • Bake until golden
  • While shells are baking, prepare the filling. Combine the ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate.
  • Fill a small pot halfway through with water. Place a metal bowl over the pot setting up a bain-marie. Add the regular sized chocolate chips and melt. Once melted add the vanilla and stir
  • After the cannoli cups have cooled down, slowly and carefully dip them in the chocolate. Let them cool until the chocolate hardens
  • Transfer the filing into a piping bag and swirl it in the cups
  • Top with sprinkles, powdered sugar, or more mini chocolate chips and enjoy!

Hot Chocolate

hot chocolate

What could be better on a dreary, cold day than a nice, warm fire? How about homemade hot chocolate?! This delicious drink is tons better when you put in the effort and make it yourself rather than using the powder mix. Not only is it better, but it is tastier and creamier with a rich, chocolate taste that will ignite your taste buds!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Serves 2


3 cups whole milk or heavy cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon 100% pure cacao powder

1/3 cup of bittersweet chocolate pieces or chips


  • In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, warm the milk
  • Add the cacao powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Taste the mixture and feel free to add more sugar and vanilla if you want a sweeter taste
  • As it boils, add the chocolate pieces and lower to a simmer. Stir as the chocolate melts to bring to a creamy consistency
  • Transfer to mug and top with marshmallows, or whipped cream, or both
  • Enjoy


“Hot Chocolate” Swirl Cheesecake


You don’t have to wait until the colder months to enjoy this dessert. The semisweet chocolate swirls blended with the creamy sweet cheesecake filling make for mouthwatering combination. Like any traditional hot chocolate, I topped the dessert with marshmallows, toasting them into a gooey morsel under a blow torch. This will be your go to dessert to enjoy at home or make for someone.

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Rest/cooling Time: 4 Hours


4 packages of cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups of sugar

5 eggs at room temperature

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

¾ cups of sour cream at room temperature

¼ cup of heavy cream at room temperature

1 ½ tablespoons of vanilla extract

8oz bar of semisweet chocolate

1 stick of butter, melted

½ cup of pecans

½ cup of graham crackers

1 cup of ginger snap cookies

1 cup of marshmallows (If using large marshmallows like I did, cut them in ¼ s)


For the crust:

  • Line a springform pan with parchment paper and using a brush, spread some butter across the paper
  • In a food processor, blend the graham crackers, ginger snap cookies, pecans and butter, until they form a moldable mixture
  • Pour the mixture in the pan, and using your hand spread it evenly across the pan, patting it down, and press it against the sides of the pan. Press the raised mixture around the side of pan so you can mold a “crust wall.” Let the crust sit until the filling is ready
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

For the filling:

  • Melt the chocolate using a double boiler. In a small pot add about 1 inch of water. Place over a medium heat. Add a glass bowl into the pot so that it covers the pot but does not touch the water. Add the chocolate in the glass bowl. The steam from the pot will melt the chocolate without burning it. Using a silicone spatula, stir the chocolate occasionally so that the parts that have not melted will melt as well
  • Add the cream cheese, the flour and the sugar into a mixer and blend until a smooth mixture forms
  • Add the vanilla and mix again
  • Using a slow setting of the mixer, add the eggs one by one into the cream cheese mixture and blend
  • Add the sour cream and heavy cream and mix
  • Pour the mixture into the crust
  • Using a spoon, drizzle and add dollops of the melted chocolate on the cheesecake
  • Using the back end if the spoon, carefully stir the chocolate in the cheesecake mixture so it forms a marbled appearance

For the baking/serving:

  • We are going to do a water bath while baking
  • Cover the springform pan in aluminum foil so water does not enter it. DO NOT cover the top of the cheesecake. Simply cover the sides slightly so that there is no water leaking in, about halfway up the pan.
  • In a roasting pan add 1 inch of hot water
  • Add the covered springform pan into the roasting pan carefully.
  • Place the pans in the oven and bake until the cheesecake is in the center but still has a slight jiggle when moved. About an hour and fifteen to an hour and a half
  • Let the cheesecake cool and rest for 3 hours
  • Place in the fridge for 1 hour
  • After the cheesecake has cooled down, add the marshmallows on top, leaving a slight space in between, until the cheesecake is covered
  • Using a cooking blow torch, toast the marshmallows, but careful to not burn. If you do not have a blow torch you can use a long necked lighter but the process will take longer
  • Slice, serve and enjoy